You Know You’re a Nerd When…

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I have a running coversation with my dearly beloved about the nerd level in our home. He seems to rank me on a scale of nerdness  somewhere between general nerdness and being a social reject/basement dweller as you can see based on my email invitation to him for a picnic this weekend. Perhaps I should have just called him?


If the weather holds up this weekend would you like to go to the little beach?


Sure. I’ll go ahead and charge up my laptop, the netbook, the camcorder, the digital camera, my iPhone, my iPod, your BlackBerry and your MacBook. We’ll be good to go once those are fully charged.

What is a Nerd Anyway?

A nerd is someone with a high aptitude for intellectual endeavors, usually in areas that are useful and challenging, but has little to no social skills. (I might have to challenge the last part of that description). They are often good at math, sciences or programming.  (I am a web developer and virtual assistant, he is a software engineer and database administrator).

They often go on to high status jobs and become successful because their skill sets are so unique. They can work for NASA as rocket scientists, do groundbreaking work in academia developing astounding original mathematical proofs or have a career in finance creating really complicated and innovative financial instruments or become high-level engineers. Bill Gates is a nerd. Not only are they scary smart, they’re often always trying to push the envelope conceptually. They’re also capable of producing astoundingly original and technically astounding works of art and music.

But if he starts labeling me a geek, we will have war.

Geeks can range in intelligence to average to very bright, but they rarely hit the genius levels of nerds. On the bright side, they are usually nowhere near as socially inept as a nerd either. They are usually good at one or two things, but it’s rarely something useful. Their expertise is more likely to be along the lines of an encyclopedic knowledge of something like film, music, television, comic books, sports or history, but from the consumer’s side. A geek is more like a high level hobbyist than an expert genius. Since his area of expertise can often be of little real world use, it’s not uncommon to find geeks toiling away in obscurity or sometimes even mediocrity.

Are you a nerd?

BTW, he forgot to add my iPod to that list!


About the Author:

Denise Griffitts is a nationally recognized Virtual Assistance Industry Expert, Online Business Manager, VA Coach and Mentor. She owns and operates a highly successful multi-VA firm and a web development company.


  1. Jim Bouchard  March 17, 2010

    Now that gives you pause for thought! My wife often calls me a geek because I stay up late reading philosophy, ethics and personal development books, but of course, that’s my business as well as my passion. Am I really a geek, or philosophy nerd? If a nerd is a completely technological beast, I may be a utilitarian geek as my work does (hopefully!) have some practical application in the world.

    I’m going to try not to obsess over it! Otherwise I may stop wanting to go to parties!

    Best thoughts!

    Jim Bouchard, author of Think Like a Black Belt

  2. Denise Griffitts  April 25, 2010

    You may have just discovered a hitherto unknown level of nerd/geek. I think you should take ownership of it and revel in it as nerds and geeks can often co-exist peacefully.

    However, if anybody calls either of us a dork, there will be words.

  3. Social Skills  May 4, 2010

    I found your blog while searching the web for some info on social skills and making friends.Even though what you write about is a littledifferent from exactly what I was searching for, I really liked reading your thoughts. Would it be okay if I use a part of your writing and link back to your site?

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